US tells citizens to leave Egypt

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The US embassy in Cairo wants all US citizens to leave Egypt. The advice follows a warden message on Friday urging US citizens to defer non-essential travel and be careful.

Cairo appears to be relatively calm as residents reflect after another day and night of protest and political upheaval in the Egyptian capital.

Soldiers are busy rebuilding barricades and checkpoints around the city as many residents scan the morning newspapers for the latest on the rebellion.

Overnight, thousands of protesters in Egypt defied an evening curfew in Cairo whilst other residents boarded up homes and set up neighbourhood watches armed with guns, clubs and knives as looting engulfed the capital.

In the main Tahrir Square, the focus of the protests demanding President Hosni Mubarak step down, hordes of protesters climbed aboard tanks moving through the square.

There have been no clashes reported between the protesters and the military overnight, with many demonstrators feeling the army is with them.

With the police having disappeared from the streets, the army has expanded its presence of tanks and armoured personnel carriers but mainly around government buildings.

The protests drove Mubarak to appoint intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as vice-president on Saturday, clearly setting up a succession that would hand power to his close confidant, a former army general, and keep control of Egypt in the hands of military men.

There are signs that the move could exhaust demonstrators' affection for the military, with many protesters declaring the appointment is cronyism, saying the government needs purging from the top.

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